Back to the beginning and northbound!
Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
113Trip End Jun 11, 2012
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The final day on the tour bus was quite sedate except for one interesting event. Andy had to leave to catch a redeye flight from San Diego via Los Angeles back to Las Vegas so he got up at 3am to catch a taxi. Hassan and I got up to see him off and I thought well that's the last of Andy, but when I awoke at 7am there he was sitting at the firepit. Apparently the airport that he went to was the wrong one in San Diego and not having enough time to get to the second airport, he missed his flight! Thus Andy ended up making the trip back to Los Angeles and dubbing the method of saying more than one goodbye 'doing an Andy'.
So we made an easy start from San Diego and two hours later we arrived back at the Hacienda Hotel where we had started the trip and dropped off the trailer
In the morning I got up early and caught a bus to downtown which took over an hour despite being a commuter express! After organising my bags and checking in, I boarded the Amtrak Coast Starlight at 10am for my journey to Portland. We were delayed for 25 minutes and I waited in my roomette which was an upgrade from cattle class (my own luxury on the trip) and it was fantastic. I had my own compartment around 2m by 1m with 2 chairs which folded down to make a very comfortable bed. I went for lunch in the luxury diner which I hadn't realised that all meals and non-alcoholic drinks were included which was a nice surprise
We travelled north along the coast past Santa Barbara before heading inland bypassing San Francisco and in the morning we realised that we had been stopped for a while because one of the engines had broken down. We waited 2 hours for a replacement engine to arrive and I had a big breakfast and even a shower on board! After lunch there was even a free wine and cheese tasting session which was awesome except I finished only an hour before dinner was going to be served! It was actually a bonus that the train was delayed because otherwise I would have arrived before 4pm and missed out on dinner onboard. We ended up arriving closer to 7pm and I walked to the HI Portland Northwest Hostel where I will be staying for 3 nights. Phew!